18. November 2010 13:32
Drinking tea may cheer you up, and help to ward off depression. Loose leaf white tea might be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle to help lessen depression symptoms. Beyond being absolutely heavenly and enjoyable, Chinese white tea has many health benefits.
What is white tea?
White tea comes from a plant called camellia sinensis, which oddly enough is the same plant that the other four main types of tea are harvested from. The difference between white, green, oolong, and black teas are all about how they are processed. White tea undergoes no oxidation, unlike the other three teas. In this way, it is able to maintain more antioxidants and nutrients than oolong tea or black teas.
It has a delicate flavor that is absolutely divine, especially when mixed with other flavors such as fruits and sometimes nuts. It can be a great way to start off, or to close your day.
Tea is perceived by many to be a relaxing experience, and white tea is also shown to have this effect. White tea can help to alleviate stress, and can soothe anxiety. In this way, adding white tea to your daily life may help to ward off some of the symptoms of depression.
Why it works
There may be scientific, and direct biological reasons for this. White tea contains a compound which is called L-theanine. This is a type of amino acid which enters the brain and has certain psychoactive properties which have been shown in some studies to reduce different types of stress. It is a naturally occurring compound in this type of tea that is harmless to consume even in high quantities, and it works in much the same way certain classes of antidepressants work; by increasing serotonin, dopamine, and gamma aminobutyric acid levels in the brain.
This leads to a lower stress level, which can alleviate anxiety. Those who suffer from depression tend to experience higher anxiety and stress levels, so regular white tea consumption can only help. Decaffeinated loose leaf white tea can only be more beneficial in this process, but white tea already has the least caffeine out of the four main types of teas, which all contain less caffeine than coffee. This may mean that loose leaf white tea may mean that it is superior in effectiveness against depression than the other three types of teas.
It would take regular consumption to build up the serotonin enhancers in the brain, but adding a few cups of white tea to your day isn’t that difficult, especially since the drink is so enjoyable on its own.
This L-theanine compound in white tea has been shown by research to have other properties that may help to lower hypertension, and may promote cognitive functions such as concentration and learning.
Talk to your doctor
As with anything, though, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes a well balanced, healthy diet and daily exercise. And it’s important to discuss any changes or health plans with your doctor.
But drinking white tea every day can’t hurt, as it has many proven health benefits and is a delectable treat to enjoy.